What’s Your Process for Creating Short Animations?

Whether you’re a first time Anime Studio Debut user or a seasoned animation pro, we thought you would enjoy this infographic about the steps to making a short animation.

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Infographic Credit: Jeca Martinez

 

As many would agree, creating animations of any length can take a great deal of time and energy. First, you’ve got to get inspired to come up with a story or character. Then, you’ve got to sketch, storyboard and actually design the thing – we know it can be a time consuming and sometimes tedious process to get your perfect final edit. As well, keeping momentum and optimism up as an animator/illustrator in this competitive industry can be difficult, but it’s the love of animation and endless creative possibilities that keep us going!

So, what are the steps you take to making an animation? We’d love to hear in the comments! We’ll share our favorites on Twitter or Facebook. To inspire and motivate you, we’re including the graphic below! “Do or do not”….you know the saying….

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Infographic Credit: Anna Vital

And hey, Frozen, the highest-grossing animated film of all time, made $1,097,338,890 at the box office, so get to work. Your next idea could be a hit!

Now Introducing the 10th Edition of Anime Studio

Smith Micro today launched Anime Studio 10 Pro / Debut.  With a variety of enhanced and new features, the 10th edition of Anime Studio is sure to impress both new and seasoned users. Check out the new features demo videos here. The below videos show a couple of the coolest new features.

Longtime friends and partners at Wacom are celebrating the 10th edition of Anime Studio with us by giving away a Wacom Cintiq and two Intuos tablets. Get more details and enter our Wacom sweepstakes here.

Wacom Cintiq

Photo Credit: Wacom

The Anime studio celebration continues with this new animated clip created by award-winning animator Victor Parades. Watch and create your own stories with these fun characters that come pre-loaded on the software.

Have Anime Studio 10 questions or feedback for us? Tweet us @Anime_Studio or leave a comment below.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Be Sure to Share the Love

Our Smith Micro Productivity and Graphics Group team wishes you a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Animator Victor Paredes created this heartwarming video clip with Anime Studio.

Also, we received this fun two player Love Pong game from Dave Cockburn, a fellow Smith Micro Software artist at Squeaky Pictures who uses both Manga Studio and Anime Studio. If you play a round, let us know what you think. Tweet us @SMSIGraphics, leave a comment or connect with us on Facebook.

The Rise of Mixed Media in Digital Art

As digital media rises in the world of art, we see many artists engaging in mixed media. The line between traditional and interactive storytelling is beginning to blur as artists continue to incorporate 3D, 2D, audio, and animatic elements into their art. This movement has been adopted by novice and professional artists, alike. Although Anomaly and RWBY use 3D animation in Poser, they look as if they have been styled in 2D. Both Anomaly and RWBY use 3D modeling and paint over with a drawing program to get a mixed-media effect. Many artists whom use Poser to create amazing 3D figures later touch them up for a more photorealistic look. Peugeot Hybrid4’s The Hybrid Graphic Novel is a fantastic example of how a car company has taken the speed of their car and interpreted it into a motion comic with 3D elements. Car companies realize the significance of mixed digital media and its emergence into pop culture. Visuals draw viewers in and has become a prominent means of reaching audiences because of how engaging it is.

LOC.NES – The Quiet in the Chaos EP (MotionArtist & Ableton Live 9)

A plethora of examples also stem from MotionArtist. The program is versatile enough that users can import visual and audio files to give their motion comics a more interactive feel. Glenn Bledsoe, creator of Crazy Fly Comics, creates the visuals for his motion comics in Manga Studio and then imports audio and text to create amazing videos. To read more about Glenn’s experience with MotionArtist and Manga Studio, click here.
Banjo A Ghost Story Crazy Fly Comics

“MotionArtist opens the door for the uninhibited expression of artists’ imaginations. In every step of developing MotionArtist, we have evoked powerful animation capabilities that professionals need to push the boundaries of the media, while at the same time streamlining the steps that make media production time-consuming for grassroots artists,” says Jordan Bentley, Product Manager for MotionArtist. “MotionArtist users hold the key to evolving this media, because the only restriction to their vision is what they can imagine. This will become the driving doctrine in the coming evolution of MotionArtist and the communities it cultivates.”

Charlie’s Abduction by from Filippo onez Vanzo

Charlie’s Abduction from Filippo onez Vanzo on Vimeo. In this video you can see how Filippo uses some drawings he has created of Charlie, a background of space, and a variety of music and voice recordings to bring the animation to life.

In the Echo Callaway, the artists have given their viewers the option of speed. There is a “Beginning,” “Previous,” and “Next” options at the bottom of the screen and you click as you go. Some of the strips are in color while some are black and white.

ANOMALY uses a pipeline of 3D modeling, digital painting over, augmented reality, and game-like animation. Anomaly’s creator, Brian Haberlin, a long time staple in the comic industry and avid proponent of evolving mixed-media, had this to say in this Comic Book Resources blog.

“I’m setting up my characters, costumes, environment. I’m thinking of 3D as my rough pencils. I’ll strip out all the color, I’ll keep some of the shading information, I’ll really do super high contrast, almost making them inks, then I’ll draw over them. The problem people have with straight 3D in print is, it’s hard to make it look alive. 3D is great when it moves, but when it’s a still, you have to step on it with the human hand as much as possible.”

Have you created any digital mixed media lately? Share them with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Check out our Pinterest page and feel free to send any pins of your art our way. In the meantime, check out these 4 Amazingly Impressive HTML5 Web Comics from MakeUseOf.com

Manga Studio, Anime Studio and Poser for just $29.99!

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Until September 30, 2013 you can have your cake and eat it too. With savings this big there’s no reason why you can’t finally get your hands on the best creation software around. Cheaper than a tank of gas, you can buy the digital versions of Manga Studio EX 4, Anime Studio 8 or Poser 9 for just $29.99 each. STILL cheaper than a tank of gas is our super savings, unbelievable, O-M-G we must be crazy, over 90% off bundle. Get your hands on all three software for just $49.99! For more information on our awesome deal, check out this link. Didn’t get this e-mail in your inbox? Be the first to receive news and promotions by signing up for our e-mail list.

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Animator Angela Adams Talks About Geez Louise

geez street gang dusty poster

Geez Louise, created in Southern California, is an animated web series that focuses on the “L” in LGBT. Angela Adams has produced one episode per month since the web series’ beginning in May 2012. Geez Louise’s YouTube channel currently has close to 1,900 subscribers and over 147,650 views. If you visit the website, you will find the characters, their episodes, and a few outtakes. You can download all 22 episodes for free on iTunes. When she’s not animating, Angela enjoys video games (immensely), especially RPGs. She is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard where she served as an Electrician’s Mate. She absolutely loves chimpanzees and has been fortunate enough to work with them.

The Idea
Several years ago, Angela had written two dark, female-driven, Sci-Fi based time-travel stories. geezlouise
Although she did not know how to draw or animate, she wanted to turn the stories into either graphic novels or animations. Angela collaborated with an artist to create the first graphic novel but unfortunately the artist’s style did not work for the format she needed. She then decided to buy an animation program that would allow her to singlehandedly bring her stories to life. “I researched animation programs online and found Anime Studio was a great fit for me. I was going to start out with Debut but opted for the Pro version because of the limitless timeline capabilities and especially for the character wizard.” In August of 2011, Angela bought Anime Studio Pro 8. She opted to create a web series after realizing her existing unfamiliarity with animation and lack of time-period related artwork for what she was hoping to accomplish would be a drawback when trying to create a visual medium. By cutting her stories into shorter episodes, Angela could become an animation expert as she went along.

She wanted the series to be family-friendly, with open-ended storylines and a gay/lesbian theme. “I wanted the show to avoid the trend of overt sexual dialogue, that’s lewd or offensive, just for the sake of shock value, and instead, have it go in the opposite direction. But I also didn’t want the characters to be constantly sarcastic with each other or to preach some underlying political agenda. With a ‘lesbian show’, these are not easy tasks to do! I wanted to make something with a different feel and kinda weird…and this is a pretty weird show!” In order to deliver the episodes regularly, Angela wanted to be held accountable for generating content. After creating a Twitter account for Geez Louise, her followers gave her the motivation and accountability she needed. “I figured, if even one person likes the cartoon, it would keep me churning out episodes and hone some animating skills at the same time. The show has a wonderful fan base and positive feedback from the gay community, which is really cool.” The first episode of Geez Louise went onto YouTube in May 2012. Angela has made sure to release about one episode per month to her fans since then.

Creation Process
After gaining more experience with Anime Studio, Angela upgraded to Anime Studio Pro 9. It takes her about 3 weeks to make a 5-6 minute episode. She does the voiceovers for characters Cairn and Victoria, while J. Adams helps with story development and handles the voiceover for Louise, CB, and Chip. Angela and J. share the voiceovers for the remaining background characters. Because Angela doesn’t draw, she notates camera angles, character facial gestures, close-ups, etc. in the script while creating the Storyboard.

Angela likes to follow these steps as a guideline when creating Geez Louise:
• Write the script
• Storyboard
• Gather sound FX and color background content.
• Voiceover
• Animate
• Edit
• Export and Upload to website

Angela would like to give credit for the artwork in Geez Louise to Cartoon Solutions, AnimationCatalyst (Paolo SC), Cartoon Learning (Eric Moore), D2Toons (David), DK Toons, Echo, Kano, Parker @Rudiger, ToonProps, Tropical Toon, WRS Art Designs. Geez Louise would also like to thank Anime Studio/SmithMicro, Apple-Mac, Garageband, Logic Pro, Pixelmator, and Pro Tools.

Why I chose Anime Studio
The character wizard was the main selling point for me and I use it extensively. Wouldn’t have a show without it. Love the lip sync function (what a time-saver). I fine-tune the lip syncing during the animation process. I use iMovie for the final edit. Animating in Anime Studio really eliminates the need for extensive editing software. The bulk of the editing/color correction, etc. is done during the animation process. I do get messages on Twitter and Facebook asking me how I make the series and I always refer them to Anime Studio. Just open the program and start creating.

More on Geez Louise
You can show your love for the web series by wearing Geez Louise t-shirts, hats, or buying Geez Louise phone cases, mouse pads, key chains, coffee mugs, or water bottles. Most of the products give you the option to choose from a variety of great colors. Support the web series by checking out Geez Louise’s website, following the web series on Facebook and Twitter, and by subscribing to Geez Louise’s YouTube channel.

Want to start your own web series? Check out Anime Studio’s website to learn more about the software and to read other user stories. Follow Anime Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

Anime Studio Helps Joe Sulsenti Receive 60k Scholarship

joe sulsentiWe are very proud of our award-winning software. We are even more satisfied when we see what is created with it. I am constantly amazed by the imagination and skill of beginners and professionals alike. I try and find talented artists and animators throughout all the nooks and crannies of cyberspace so that I can share their stories and inspire other users. I was delighted when Joe Sulsenti told us via Twitter that Anime Studio helped him receive a scholarship.

Joe, who just completed his senior year at Manalapan High School, began using Anime Studio Debut 7 when he was a freshman. “I was looking for a program that made it easy to create 2D animations and in a timely manner. Anime Studio looked like the perfect fit!” He taught himself the basic ins and outs of the program in just a few days and started developing simple animations in the first couple hours of using the program. “I loved the timeline, bone rigging and lip syncing features. It really amazed me how simple and intuitive the software was, and it baffled me when I had a fully working, moving, talking, breathing character in just a few days. I was impressed with the program and myself. It was unreal to think of the possibilities that could be done with this program and at such an affordable price.”

After a few years of experience in Debut 7, Joe upgraded to Anime Studio Pro 8. “I found it really affordable for what I was getting.” As an upcoming senior, Joe knew he wanted to go to college for animation. He applied to The School of Visual Arts, located in Manhattan, aspiring to major in animation. The application required a portfolio. Joe knew adding his animations would give him an advantage as he competed for scholarships. With this in mind, he spent most of his senior year creating Shmoglog, an animated short comedy series about his high school friends and teachers. “All the characters are based off of real people in my school. Shmoglog is a character I made up in 6th grade and the name just stuck. People got a real kick out of it.”

Weeks later, he received an incredible email from SVA congratulating him on obtaining the Silas H. Rhodes Scholarship. Only six of these scholarships are given out and Joe received the highest amount offered, $60,000. Eligible applicants must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. The decision is based on the applicant’s portfolios and academic records. “I know my animations made with Anime Studio are the reason I got that scholarship and I could not be more grateful. I cried,” said Joe. ““The amazing thing is, is that I did it completely on my own. And seeing Shmoglog, a character who was once just a doodle, come to life was simply breathtaking. I couldn’t be happier with my experience with Anime Studio.”

The word on Joe’s animations spread around Manalapan High School during his senior year. He had teachers requesting that he create animations for assemblies, like the one shown above titled Shmoglog MIX IT UP, for Mix It Up Day. He enjoyed these requests and was able to finish the animations quickly. “Anime Studio has really helped me and my future. I look forward to use this program in my college career that I will be starting in a couple weeks. People who are interested in animation should really take advantage of the intuitive features of Anime Studio to easily create beautiful animations. I know I will and I can’t wait to see what I, and other users, will do with this amazing software.”

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He even used Anime Studio to ask a friend to prom! “It was the best prom asking ever,” said Joe. In the full assembly video, you can see Nermeen’s reaction as Joe comes off the stage. The awes from the auditorium are priceless. Such a great idea! They looked great together at prom, too. Isn’t her dress gorgeous?

Want to keep up with Joe Sulsenti and his animations? Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe to his YouTube channel. Don’t forget to follow Anime Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

Has Joe’s story inspired you to create rewarding animations? Check out Anime Studio’s website to learn more about the software and to read other user stories.

Some Shots from SDCC

Comic-Con is one of those events you just have to go to at least once in your life. For those of you who haven’t yet, or were unable to attend this year, here are some photos taken by our team of the first few days.

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Smith Micro’s booth at SDCC

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Look at that crowd! Another shot of Smith Micro’s booth.

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Our awesome Smith Micro Staff!

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Kara, the voice of Weiss from RWBY and Kathleen, Production Director at Rooster Teeth!

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Jordan and Logan look like the real deal, don’t you guys think?

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Jordan being interviewed

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Fahim and Evie, Evie from FourtyThreePR

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Cooper with the RWBY girls

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Our Anime Studio Superstar, Victor Paredes giving demonstrations on Anime Studio

Smith Micro Superstars at San Diego Comic-Con

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Smith Micro’s booth this year is 4437. Make sure to stop by and check out all of the cool things we’ve got going on. Grab a MotionArtist mask! Take pictures in your mask and hashtag #TheRISEofMA on Twitter and Facebook. Check out demos of the newly released Manga Studio EX 5 and grab a special edition Axe Cop poster if you purchase EX 5 at our booth. The following successful individuals have used our products and we’re very proud to share a little bit about them and where you can find them during Comic-Con.

Victor Paredes

Victor Paredes, an award winning animator from Chile, will be demonstrating products and taking questions at the Smith Micro booth (4437) during San Diego Comic-Con. Having used Anime Studio for over 9 years now, we consider Victor an Anime Studio celebrity. I don’t think we’re the only ones, either. The News-Gazette featured Victor in their paper when he held a seminar on how animation works. The News-Gazette called Victor, “the premiere tutor for Anime Studio.”

A lot of Victor’s animations are featured in our Anime Studio Gallery. To view more of Victor’s animations, check out his YouTube Channel. His animation, Regálense Unas Vacaciones was featured in our blog on how Anime Studio inspires international education. We also blogged about Victor when Smith Micro won a Telly Award for Happy Earth Day, an animation created by Victor and his team. After receiving the award, Victor stated, “Smith Micro’s Anime Studio software has been a great tool for cutting down production time, as well as adding precision and detail to animation projects. My team and I are delighted to share this Telly Award with Smith Micro.”

Will you be visiting Victor at Comic-Con? Keep up with Anime Studio’s Facebook and Twitter pages for news during Comic-Con. To read more about Victor and his experience with Anime Studio, check out his User Story.

Ethan Nicolle

Ethan Nicolle, creator of Axe Cop and Bearmageddon, will be at booth 1603 during Comic-Con. Ethan has been a user of Manga Studio for over 6 years now. You can read more of his User Story on our website. Don’t forget to tune into Axe Cop on July 21 at 9:30pm/8:30pm Central and July 27 at 11pm/10pm Central on FOX. Follow Ethan Nicolle on Facebook and Twitter, as well as Axe Cop.

Lar deSouza and Ryan Sohmer

Copyright ©2013 Blind Ferret Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright ©2013 Blind Ferret Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

Lar and Ryan will be joined by artists Ari, Will, Joel and Randy at Blind Ferret Entertainment‘s booth, 1231. Lar and Sohmer are cartoonists for Looking for Group and Least I Could Do. Sohmer is also writer of The Gutters and The Bear. Lar said Manga Studio “simplifies the grunt work of comicing so I can get to the fun stuff faster. Inking is a joy in this program!” and that “Flatting in Manga Studio is stupid easy.” Check out Least I Could Do and make sure to stop by their booth to say hey!
Follow Lar and Sohmer on Twitter.

Rooster Teeth Productions

Stop by Rooster Teeth Productions at booth 1437! Monty Oum, director of animation at Rooster Teeth Productions and senior animator for Red vs. Blue said, “When I’m working on Red vs. Blue, Poser is like an extension of my body. I have no time for inefficiency or unnecessary steps and I need a workflow that I can move around easily. Poser is user friendly enough that kids could use it to animate, but at the same time its powerful and flexible enough that nearly all of our rendering and character animation for the series happens using Poser.” Read Smith Micro’s Press Release for more on Red vs. Blue. Be sure to watch RWBY’s “Red” Trailer, featured below. RWBY was also created in Poser.


Marc Rene

Guitar Gladiator by Marcus Rene Hill

Guitar Gladiator
Image taken from: http://www.marcreneonline.com/

Marcus Rene Hill is a guest at the Man of Action Studios, booth 2007. Marc has used Manga Studio to create all of his artwork, including the graphics in The Machine Stop. Preview his book while you’re at Comic-Con. He’s giving free copies of The Machine Shops to the first 100 people! Check out his website to see more of his comics.
Follow Marc on Facebook and Twitter.

Kirk Kushin

ozopolis

Written by Kirk Kushin & Illustrated by Gonzalo Martinez
Image taken from: http://www.ozopolis.com/

If you head over to Forcewerks at Q-14, you’ll meet Kirk Kushin. Kirk is an award-winning writer, producer, and director. He’s the author of several graphic novels including OZopolis and Super Teen*Topia. OZopolis was written by Kirk and illustrated by Gonzalo Martinez. OZopolis was completely done in Manga Studio, from rough pencils to tones and lettering. Check out OZopolis on Facebook, as well as Kirk Kushin’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Show Gonzalo Martinez some love on Facebook and Twitter, too! All of the work done on Gonzalo’s website was created in Manga Studio.

Comic-Con starts today! Here’s a look back at Anime Expo 2013

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Hosted annually in Los Angeles, Anime Expo is North America’s largest celebration of Japanese culture, which celebrated its twenty-second year this month. Smith Micro was thrilled to be a part of Anime Expo 2013, which had a record 61,000 unique attendees, and turnstile attendance of over 161,000. We had such a great time and already cannot wait for next year.

Things to get excited over this year included:

  • the legendary Japanese rock band PORNOGRAFFITTI, featured at Club Nokia
  • An appearance by George Wada, producer of “Attack on Titan”
  • Fashion shows from multiple popular Shibuya brands
  • The first ever “Shinjuku Masquerade Ball”
  • The first introduction to the Cosplay Participation Area
  • “Garden of Words”, “Ghost in the Shell ARISE”, “Kick-Heart!!”, and “Star Blazers 2199” premiered at the convention.

Read more from the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation here.

Take a look at our ScatterShow of this year’s Anime Expo.

Did you attend this year’s Anime Expo? Share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Are you interested in creating your own ScatterShows? Check out our blog post and website to learn more.

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